The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs deplores the decision taken at the appellate court hearing of the Supreme Court of Karelia sentencing the historian and human rights activist, Yury Dmitriev, to 13 years in prison.
The questionable charges brought against Yury Dmitriev can be seen as an attempt by Russia’s authorities to silence a man who was bringing the truth about Stalinist crimes to public attention, a truth which regrettably does not fit into Russia’s current official version of history.
Yury Dmitriev was arrested on 13 December 2016 on questionable grounds. On 5 April 2018, the Petrozavodsk City Court acquitted him but two months later the Karelia Supreme Court cancelled the sentence and called for a re-examination of the case, while producing new charges. Hearing the case repeatedly, Petrozavodsk City Court sentenced Yury Dmitriyev to 3 years and 6 months in prison.
Yury Dmitriev is a historian well-known and respected in Karelia, and the head of the Karelia branch of Memorial: An International Historical, Educational, Human Rights And Charitable Society. Mr. Dmitriev has devoted 30 years to efforts at commemorating the victims of the political repression and persecution of Stalin’s regime including the establishment of memorial sites in Karelia.